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The Political Economy of the Service Transition


  • Wren, Anne
    (Research Associate, Institute for International Integration Studies, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.)


Over the past four decades the wealthiest OECD economies-in Europe, North America, and Australasia- have faced massive structural change. Industrial sectors, which were once considered the economic backbone of these societies, have shrunk inexorably in terms of size and economic significance, while service sectors have taken over as the primary engines of output and employment expansion. The impact on labor markets has been profound: in many OECD countries more than three-quarters of employment is now in services, while industrial sectors, on average, account for less than one-fifth. This sectoral shift in the locus of economic activity has potentially radical implications for politics and society. However, these implications are only beginning to be understood. This path-breaking book is a systematic attempt to understand the distinct political economy of service societies. It examines how different types of socio-economic regimes manage the service transition, with a central focus on job creation and destruction and the changing characteristics of labor markets, and shows that the economic, distributional, and political outcomes with which it is associated vary across countries depending on their political-institutional structures. Contributors to this volume - Karen M. Anderson, Radboud University, the Netherlands Ben Ansell, University of Minnesota, USA Lucy Barnes, University of Oxford, UK Mate Fodor, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland Jane Gingrich, University of Minnesota Anke Hassel, Hertie School of Governance, Germany Torben Iversen, Harvard University Philip Manow, Bremen University Moira Nelson , VU University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands Philipp Rehm, European University Institute Frances Rosenbluth, Yale University Gijs Schumacher, VU University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands David Soskice, University of Oxford, UK John Stephens, University of North Carolina, USA Sotiria Theodoropoulou, European Trade Union Institute, Brussels, Belgium Kees Van Kersbergen, Aarhus University

Suggested Citation

  • Wren, Anne (ed.), 2013. "The Political Economy of the Service Transition," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199657292.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780199657292

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